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DARWIN'S HYPOTHESIS. In 1885 George Howard Darwin showed mathematically that the present condition of our earth and moon (the revolution of the moon and its axial rotation being synchronous) might have been brought about by the action of the tidal friction working continuously through successive ages of cosmic time. Indeed, it is quite reasonable to suppose that, when earth and moon were nearer together, and as yet in a more or less plastic condition, very gigantic tides must have been set up-tides involving the earth's semi-solid matter, as well as the oceans of water and air. Darwin's researches have brought out the fact that such tides must produce important modifications in any system of celestial bodies.
THE METEORITIC HYPOTHESIS. Sir Norman Lockyer's so-called Meteoritic Hypothesis assumes that the stars have been made up by the combining together of masses of meteors (q.v.).
THE PLANETESIMAL HYPOTHESIS. Modern research has shown that the nebular hypothesis is unable to explain all the phenomena presented by planetary systems, and, in order to overcome the difficulties which arise, Professors Chamberlin and Moulton, of the University of Chicago, have recently put forward a theory which the former calls the Planetesimal Hypothesis. It may be regarded as a combination of the nebular and meteoritic hypotheses. Led to the conclusion by the large number of spiral nebula which have been brought to light by modern telescopes, the propounders of this theory suppose the solar system to have developed from such a nebula. This they imagine to have had its origin at a time when another sun passed near our own. This nebulous mass was composed of a great number of small masses, but throughout it there were primitive nuclei of considerable dimensions around which have gathered accretions of the scattered material, thus giving rise to the planets. See NEBULE; SOLAR SYSTEM; SUN; etc.
ANCIENT COSMOGONIES. Scarcely any people, either ancient or modern, has been without some theory concerning the creation of, the world. The cosmogonies of chief interest in connection with our own views are those of Babylonia, India, Iran, Greece, and ancient Germany. The Babylonian system resembles in many respects the cosmogony of the Bible. There was darkness and water, with strange monsters. Into this chaos the god Bel entered, and clove the cosmic sea, and parted the darkness. Animals took the place of the former monsters, and man himself was created, as well as the sun and moon and five planets. In some of the latest hymns of the Rigveda (q.v.), water was the source of all, whence came fire and wind-the breath of divinity. Or, again, the world arose from the sacrifice of Man (Skt. purusha), whose head became the sky, his feet the earth, his eye the sun, his breath the wind, while from his mouth, arms, thighs, and feet the four castes sprang. These ideas, developed more fully in the pseudoepical Sanskrit Purānas (q.v.), exhibit clearly the pantheistic trend of Hindu thought. The role of Kama or Love in Indian cosmogony bears some resemblance to that of the Greek Eros. Iranian cosmology, as we find it in the Avesta and the writings in Pahlavi (q.v.), corresponds to the dualistic character of the Zoroastrian religion. Ormazd, the god of everlasting light, created the good in opposition to Ahriman, the devil, who dwells in eternal darkness. In the
course of a period of three thousand years Ormazd created the heaven, water, earth, plants, animals, and man. In the following three thousand years Ahriman produced evils to combat these creations of Ormazd; but, despite some temporary success, he was finally forced to yield to the powers of good.
Greek cosmogony is more varied. The Homeric poems regard Ocean as the source of the world, while the Hesiodic account ascribes the first beginnings to Chaos. Thales followed the first theory, and Anaximander the second, which has its parallel also in India. Anaximenes considered air to be the source of all, while Heraclitus postulated fire as the primal element, and supposed a constant flux of all things, where only the divine law (Zeus) was immutable. The notion of Eros or Love as a cosmic force was introduced into Greek philosophy by Parmenides and Empedocles, for which Anaxagoras substituted Mind (Gk. vous). Of special interest in this connection is the atomic theory of Democritus, according to whose view the world is permeated by a soul which is composed of atoms in continual motion, and which partake of the nature of fire. Later Greek philosophy did hardly anything toward the development of cosmogonic ideas.
For Germanic beliefs on this subject, the most comprehensive source is the Völuspa, an Icelandic poem of the twelfth century of our era.
BIBLIOGRAPHY. For the cosmogonic ideas of the Egyptians consult the studies of Naville, The cosmological views of the American Indian and Eskimo tribes, of the African races, and of the peoples of Farther Asia and the islands of the Eastern seas, may be gathered from the writings of Brinton, Grey, Tylor, and others. The Hindu theories will be found in Hopkins, Religions of India (Boston, 1895), and the Persian in Jackson, "Iranische Religion," in Geiger und Kuhn, Grundriss der iranischen Philologie (Strassburg, 1900). Consult also: Lukas, Grundbegriffe in der Kosmogonie der alten Völker (Leipzig, 1893); Jensen, Kosmologie der Babylonier (Strassburg, 1890); Meyer, Eddische Kosmogonie (Freiburg, 1891); Faye, Sur l'origine du monde. . . théories cosmogoniques des anciens et des modernes (2d ed., Paris, 1885); Plunket, Ancient Calendars and Constellations (London, 1903); Chamberlin, "Fundamental Problems in Geology," in Year Book No. 3 of the Carnegie Institution; Moulton, "On the Evolution of the Solar System," in Astrophysical Journal for October, 1905.
COSMOPOLIS (from Gk. кóσμos, kosmos, order, world, universe + abs, polis, city). A French novel by Paul Bourget (1892). The characters come to Paris from all quarters of the earth, forming an international society. The theme of the action is the persistence of ethnical differences even where a complete cosmopolitanism has apparently been reached.
COSMOPOLITE (Gk. коGμоñoλíτns, cosmopolites, citizen of the world, from xóouos, kosmos, order, world, universe + Tohirns, politēs, citizen, from 6s, polis, city). A plant which grows spontaneously in every climate. Not to be confused with ubiquist (q.v.).
COSMORAMA, köz'mô-rā'må (from Gk. kóơ pos, kosmos, order, world, universe + opapa, horama, sight, from öpav, horan, to see). An arrangement of lenses and mirrors for viewing pictures, so that they appear as natural as possible.
The name was applied to exhibitions where representations of landscapes, buildings, and other features of places in different parts of the world could be seen. By properly arranging the lenses, mirrors, and illumination, the pictures were produced not only enlarged, but with the effect of perspective. Cosmoramas were first introduced in France at the beginning of the nineteenth century.
COS'MOS (Neo-Lat., from Gk. κóoμos, kosmos, order, world, universe). A genus of annual and perennial herbs of the order Compositæ. The twenty or so species comprised in this genus are natives of tropical America, mostly Mexico. few annual species are cultivated in flower-gardens, and have within recent years come into increased prominence and popularity, especially in the United States. (For illustration, see Plate of CRANBERRY, ETC.) The plants are sometimes 10 feet high, leaves pinnately cut, flowers mostly rose, crimson, purple, yellow, or white; generally solitary on a long peduncle. A sandy soil not too rich is preferred. The seeds are sown indoors, and the plants when large enough are set in the garden, after danger of frost is past. Cosmos bipinnatus and Cosmos sulphureus are the species most commonly grown. The former grows 7 to 10 feet high, blooms in the late fall, and has many different forms. A dwarf variety about 41⁄2 feet high blooms in July. Cosmos sulphureus grows 22 to 4 feet high, with sulphur or rich orange-yellow flowers 1 to 314 inches in diameter. It comes into blossom in some of the more southern States in late spring, and continues to bloom without cessation until killed by fall frosts. The black cosmos (Cosmos diversifolius) is a tender annual growing only 12 to 16 inches high.
COSMOS. A great scientific work in four volumes, by Alexander von Humboldt, which appeared at intervals from 1845 to 1858. It is a physical description of the universe, setting forth physical laws in logical order, though modern science shows it faulty in some of its matter.
COSQUIN, ko'skǎn', EMMANUEL (1841-). A French writer on folklore. He was born at Vitry-le-François, Marne. In his Contes populaires de Lorraine (1887) he aims to show that the folklore of Europe has been derived from India. He has also written considerably on religious subjects, chiefly for the paper Le Français, and prepared the following French translation of the works of Fessler, secretary of the Vatican Council: La vraie et la fausse infallibilité des Papes (1873) and Le concile du Vatican (1877).
COSS. See ALGEBRA.
COS'SA, FRANCESCO (c.1438-c.80). An Italian painter. He worked at Ferrara and Bologna, and is considered, with Lorenzo Costa, to have been the founder of the Ferrarese School. In the Palazzo Schifanoja at Ferrara there is a curious fresco by him, "The Glorification of March, April, and May," the other months having been done by lesser artists. In this composition there are a number of portraits of his contemporaries, remarkable for their fidelity to nature and for the valuable studies of costume. The Marquis of Borso, for whom the picture was painted, gave Cossa but slight compensation, and he, indignant at this treatment, left Ferrara and settled at Bologna. His picture in the
gallery there-a Madonna surrounded by saints is considered his finest work.
COSSA, LUIGI (1831-96). An Italian economist. He was born in Milan, studied at the universities of Pavia, Vienna, and Leipzig, and in 1858 was appointed professor of political economy in Pavia. His most important work is the Primi elementi di economia politica (8th ed., 1889), which has been translated into English and several other languages. Among his other publications may be mentioned Saggi di economia politica (1878).
COSSA, PIETRO (1834-81). An Italian dramatist, born in Rome. He is considered the most brilliant writer for the stage that the nineteenth century produced in Italy after the death of the Count Giraud. The best of his plays are the following: Neroni (1871); Plauto (1876); Cola di Rienzi; Giuliano l'Apostata (1876); Messalina (1876); I Borgia (1878); and Cleopatra (1879). "If not great plays or dramatic poems," says an eminent critic, "they are, at all events, very splendid historical masquerades." A collection of them, Teatro poetico, was published (Turin, 1887).
COSSACK ASPARAGUS. See TYPHA. COSSACK POSTS. A system of outposts, used in the United States Army. Each post consists of four men-three reliefs of one sentinel each and a non-commissioned officer as commander, or, failing such, an old and experienced soldier. They are a substitute for the usual line of pickets and sentinels. From four to twelve such posts are supplied from each support; and in close rugged country they are posted about 300 yards in front of them, and are usually 150 to 300 yards apart from each other. The sentinels are posted from 10 to 30 yards in front of the Cossack posts and are kept under constant observation by the other members of their post. They are relieved every hour, and the posts every three hours. The advantages claimed for the Cossack system are that it is more economical in point of men required than is the usual method, and is besides less fatigu ing, and consequently more effective; and that, above all else, it enables the sentries to be more resolute in the performance of their duties, because, backed up by the nearness of their post, they are freed from any timidity of loneliness. See OUTPOST.
COSSACKS (Russ. kozaků, kazaků, from Turk. kazāk, robber; the same word in Tatar designating a light-armed warrior). A name borne by a people living under a peculiar military organization, who for several centuries have constituted an important element in the population of southern Russia. Their principal homes are the steppes of the Don and of Ciscaucasia and a region at the southern end of the Ural Mountains, on the borders of European Russia and Siberia. They are a mixed race, of Russian, Polish, Tatar, and other elements, with the Russian predominating. In fact, they are distinguished from the other Russians by their unsettled mode of life rather than by any difference of race or fundamental character. The Cossacks make their appearance in history about the close of the Middle Ages as a frontier people, on the border of Slavdom (Russia and Poland) on the one hand and the Tatar regions to the southeast on the other. A free, wild people,
accustomed to live in the saddle and in constant warfare, they acquired by inheritance the qualities of courage, endurance, self-reliance, and good horsemanship, which gave them high rank among the irregular cavalry of the world. Long unaccustomed to the restraints of civilized government, they distinguished themselves by their predatory habits. The Don Cossacks, who at the present time constitute the principal body of the Cossacks, became powerful about the close of the sixteenth century. The town of Tcher kask became the seat of their government. At the head of their democratic organization was the Ataman (Hetman). In 1773 the Don Cossacks joined the pretender Pugatcheff against Catharine II., for which they were chastised by being deprived of all of their liberties and their democratic institutions. Yermak Timofeyeff, a Don Cossack, belonging to a lawless band, the Good Companions of the Don, entered the service of the Stroganoffs, a wealthy family living in the Ural region and holding special trading privileges, crossed the Urals with a few hundred followers in 1581, and in a few years conquered and brought into a rude kind of subjection all of western Siberia. From this time the history of the Cossacks is closely connected with that of the Russian progress eastward through Siberia. With wonderful persistence and endurance, and a spirit of enterprise that would have been impossible in the stolid Russian village peasant, they explored and subdued this vast addition to Russia's territory. The Malorussian (Little Russian) Cossacks, or Cossacks of the Ukraine (Border Land), were organized in the second half of the sixteenth century by Stephen Báthory, King of Poland, into a defensive bulwark on the southeastern frontiers of the realm. In the middle of the seven
teenth century, harassed by Polish oppression, they revolted under the lead of their Ataman, Chmielnicki (q.v.), and placed themselves under the protection of Russia. Under the lead of Mazeppa they joined Charles XII. against Peter the Great, whose victory at Poltava sealed their fate. Their liberties were abolished and they were treated with great harshness. The Zaporogian Cossacks (Russ. Zaporog, beyond the rapids), on the Dnieper, were one of the most notable of the tribes down to the middle of the
seventeenth century, when they submitted to Russia. Their predatory incursions were not confined to the land, but included naval expeditions against the Turkish towns of Asia Minor. Among their peculiar tribal institutions was the celibacy imposed upon the ruling class.
voisko enrolls 6 battalions of Cossack infantry, and there are also fifteen batteries (44 on a war footing) of Cossack field artillery. The title of Ataman, or chief of the Cossacks, is now vested in the Imperial family. The Cossacks probably number between 1,500,000 and 2,000,000.
The Cossacks are regarded by the Russian Government as a military division of the population. They are organized in eleven voiskos or corps (Don, Kuban, Terek, Astrakhan, Orenburg, Ural, Siberia, Semiryetchensk, Transbaikalia, Amur, Usuri). Their military training begins in boyhood; compulsory service in the stanitsa, or Cossack post, begins at seventeen; field service begins at twenty, and continues from twenty to twenty-five years. This service is divided into three classes-active, on furlough with arms and horses, and on furlough with arms but without horses. Each roisko equips and clothes its soldiers, and receives an allowance of land from the Crown. The Cossacks wear a distinctive uniform of dark green. Part of them, in addition to other arms, still carry a long lance. The Kuban
Consult: Erckert, Der Ursprung der Kosaken (Berlin, 1882); Tettau, Die Kosakenheere (ib., 1892); Wallace, Russia (9th ed., London, 1883); Krasinski, The Cossacks of the Ukraine (ib., 1848); Vladimir, Russia on the Pacific (ib., 1899). A splendid realistic picture of Cossack life may be found in Gogol's celebrated novel Taras Bulba.
COSSACKS, THE. A novel by Count Tolstoy (1852). It was translated into English in 1878.
COSSON, ko'sÔN', ERNEST (1819-89). A French botanist, born in Paris. He carried on extensive botanical studies in Algeria and explored the flora in the suburbs of Paris. His published works include the following: Flore descriptique et analytique des environs de Paris, jointly with Saint-Pierre (1845); Synopsis analytique de la flore des environs de Paris (1845); Atlas de la flore des environs de Paris (1882); Compendium Flora Atlantica ou Flore des états barbaresques; Algérie, Tunisie, Maroc (1881-87); Conspectus Flora Atlantica (1881); and Illustrationes Flora Atlanticæ (1883-92).
COSSUTIUS, kōs-sū'shi-ŭs. A Roman architect noted for his selection by King Antiochus Epiphanes (B.C. 175-164) to rebuild the great temple of the Olympian Zeus at Athens in the Corinthian style.
COSTA, ko'stå, CLAUDIO MANUEL da (172989). A Brazilian poet. He was born at Mariwhich are numerous, are highly valued by the amo (Province of Minas-Geraes). His works, Portuguese, who consider them classics. best of them is Villarica (1839-41).
COSTA, ISAAC da. See DA COSTA, ISAAC.
COSTA, LORENZO (1460-1535). An Italian painter, born in Ferrara. He was a pupil of Cosimo Tura and Ercole Roberti in Ferrara, and perhaps of Francesco Cossa. Vasari says he also studied the works of Gozzoli and Lippi in Florence. After his return to Ferrara he painted several works now destroyed. In 1483 he went to Bologna, where he remained almost constantly until the fall of his patrons, the Bentivoglio family, in 1506, and there he began his connection with Francia. The artists had a joint school, and worked as co-painters. Costa first influenced Francia, but afterwards it was the other way. As a colorist Costa is inferior to Francia. Many of his best paintings are in the Bolognese churches. Among those may be mentioned: "A Madonna with Members of the Bentivoglio Family" (1488) in San Giacomo Maggiore, a characteristic example, admirable in its fresh, simple, sincere treatment and masterly drawing; "The Triumph of Life and Death," and frescoes, in the same church; an "Annunciation" and "Madonna” (1492) in San Petronio; and frescoes in Santa Cecilia. After he left Bologna he went to Mantua, where he lived until his death. Later works include the "Court of Isabella d'Este" (in the Louvre) and the "Dead Christ" (1504, Berlin Museum); they are rare outside Italy. Dosso, Garofalo, and others car
ried on the traditions of the Ferrarese School, of which many consider Lorenzo Costa the founder.
Consult: Morelli, Italian Painters: Critical Studies of Their Works, translated by Constance Jocelyn Ffoulkes (London, 1892-93); Vasari, Lives of the Painters, translated by Blashfield (New York, 1897); Crowe and Cavalcaselle, History of Painting in North Italy (London, 1871).
COSTA, Sir MICHAEL, really MICHELE (181084). An Italian composer and conductor, born in Naples. He was taught by his father and Zingarelli (q.v.). When the latter's psalm was to be performed at the Birmingham Festival (1828), he sent Costa, then only eighteen years old, to conduct it. Owing to a misunderstanding, Costa had, instead, to sing the tenor part, but acquitted himself of the task brilliantly, and his reception induced him to settle in England. He became conductor of Italian opera in 1830, and in 1847 assumed the same post in the Covent Garden Opera. In addition he was appointed conductor of the Philharmonic Society (1846); Sacred Harmonic Society (1848); Birmingham Festivals (1849); and Handel Festivals (1857). His principal work, the oratorio Eli, was successfully produced at the Birmingham Festival of 1855 and Naaman in 1864. In 1869 he was knighted by Queen Victoria and also received the royal order of Frederick from the King of Württemberg. Costa wrote several ballets and operas, of which the most successful were Don Carlos
and Malek Adel. He died at Brighton, England.
COSTA, PAOLO (1771-1836). An Italian author, born in Ravenna. He was educated in Padua, and was a teacher successively in Treviso, Bologna, and Corfu. His treatise on the Divina Commedia (1819) did much to popularize Dante in Italy. He collaborated with Orioli and Cardinali in a revision (1819-28) of the Vocabolario (1612) of the Accademia della Crusca, and with Giovanni Macchetti, translated into Italian Homer's Batrachomyomachia, and Schiller's Don Carlos. His collected works, with a sketch by Becchi, appeared in Florence in 1839-40 (4 vols.). Consult, also, the biography by Mordani (Forli, 1840).
State and president of the Superior Administrative Court.
COSTA CABRAL, kởʻstå kå-bräl', ANTONIO BERNARDO DA, Count de Thomar (1803-89). A Portuguese statesman. He became judge of the Supreme Court in Oporto and in Lisbon, and in 1835 was elected to the Chamber of Deputies, where at first he was one of the leaders of the Radicals, but soon joined the Conservative Party. He was appointed Governor of Lisbon in 1838 and Minister of Justice in 1839. For the purpose of setting aside the Constitution of 1820 with its restrictions of the royal power, he fomented, in 1842, an insurrection in Oporto, assumed control of the army, established a censorship of the public schools, suppressed the universities, and so oppressed the people with taxes that he was driven from power in 1846. Once more appointed Prime Minister, in 1849, he again played the dictator, to the detriment, especially, of the State finances, but was compelled to resign. The Queen refused to accept his resignation, and a revolution was started against him under the leadership of Saldanha, which overthrew his administration in April, 1851. He fled to England, but returned the next year, and from 1859 to 1861 was Minister to Brazil. In 1862 he became a member of the Council of
COSTA RICA, ko'stȧ rē’kȧ (Sp., rich coast). The most southern of the Central American
States, bounded by Nicaragua on the north, the Caribbean Sea on the east, Colombia (Panama) on the southeast, and the Pacific on the south
west (Map: Central America, E 5). Its area, after the adjustment of the boundary disputes with Nicaragua and Colombia, is estimated at about 18,691 square miles. Lake Nicaragua forms part of the northern boundary.
TOPOGRAPHY. The interior of the country is taken up partly by the Talamanca range of mountains (a continuation of the Cordillera of Chiriquí), which runs from the southeast to the
northwest as far as latitude 10° N. The Talamanca is of volcanic origin and reaches in its highest peaks an altitude of over 12,700 feet. North of the Cartago highland commences the second mountain range, which extends in the same (northwesterly) direction to the northern boundary of the Republic. There are several volcanoes in this range. Of them, however, but two-the Irazú (11,500 feet) and Turrialba (11,350 feet) -show any signs of activity. Since 1841, when the town of Cartago was almost completely delantic coast, which, according to the adjustment stroyed, no serious eruption has occurred. The Atof the southern boundary in 1900, reaches only Teliri or Siesola, is generally low, and, with the to a point a little north of the mouth of the river exception of Port Limón, without any inlet. The Pacific coast, on the contrary, has a more elevated surface and forms the two spacious gulfs of Nicoya and Dulce, which are protected by two mountainous peninsulas. There are a number of smaller inlets in the northern part. The rivers of Costa Rica are short, and, although abundant in water, unnavigable. Most of them flow into the Atlantic or the Pacific, while some join the San Juan, which forms the eastern half of the northern boundary.
GEOLOGY. The interior highland region is composed of Paleozoic and Mesozoic strata, in places broken through by ancient eruptives and overlain by more recent lava-flows. Many districts are known to be mineralized; the deposits of gold are especially important and have attracted the attention of foreign capitalists, who are now engaged in developing this branch of the mining industry. The eastern coast of Costa Rica is an alluvial plain.
CLIMATE. In regard to its climate, Costa Rica may be divided into three zones. The torrid zone, below 3000 feet, comprising the coastlands, has an average temperature ranging from 72° to 82° F. The temperate zone, lying between 3000 and 7500 feet, has the most salubrious climate and a mean temperature ranging from 57° to 68°. Above 7500 feet the temperature is much lower and frosts are frequent, but snows rare. On the tablelands of San José, lying at an elevation of 3000 to 4000 feet, the climate is very agreeable, the temperature having a range of only about 5o, the mean for the year being 67°. The dry season lasts from December to May, while the months of December, January, and February are the coldest of the year. Owing to the proximity of the two oceans, winds blow almost continually, and occasion considerable discomfort during the dry season. On the whole, the climate of Costa
Rica is healthful and fevers occur only in regions below an elevation of 150 feet.
FLORA AND FAUNA. The vegetation and aniImal life are characteristic of Central America generally, which forms a part of the Neotropical region.
AGRICULTURE. Costa Rica is essentially an agricultural country, and is chiefly dependent on the cultivation of coffee. Notwithstanding the sparse population of the country and the lack of transportation facilities, agriculture is in a flourishing condition, as evidenced by the constantly increasing exports of agricultural products. This is due partly to the fertility of the soil and favorable climatic conditions, and particularly to the fact that the larger part of the land is held by the State, which rents or sells it in small tracts on very advantageous terms, in some cases distributing it gratuitously, in lots not exceeding 500 hectares (1235 acres). As a result of this policy almost every inhabitant of Costa Rica is a landholder. The cultivation of coffee has of late undergone a decrease, owing to prevailing low prices; the export duty on coffee was abolished in 1901. In 1894, 23,129,000 pounds of coffee were exported; in 1898, over 43,000,000 pounds; in 1904, over 24,000,000 pounds; and in 1905 over 35,000,000 pounds. For the season of 1906 the coffee crop amounted to 26,944,000 pounds, or 9,421,000 pounds (= 23.67 per cent.) less than the crop of 1905. Next to coffee, bananas form the most important agricultural product. The development of banana-growing has also been rapid, as seen from the export figures. Thus 1881 there were exported only about 3500 bunches; by 1890 the exports increased to 1,034,765 bunches; while in 1905 they amounted to 7,283,000 bunches. In 1904 about 50,000 acres were devoted to banana-growing, of which nine-tenths are owned by an American corporation. Besides coffee and bananas, there are raised sugar, cacao, rice, and corn, but none of them is exported to any extent. Stock-raising is carried on quite extensively, and the forests are exploited on a steadily increasing scale.
MINING AND MANUFACTURES. The precious metals are mined to some extent, principally with the aid of American capital; in 1905 their export amounted to nearly $283,000. Of manufacturing establishments Costa Rica has very few, the largest being the national liquor factory and the national foundry at San José. The country is behind the neighboring States in manufacturing.
TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATION. The Isthmian railway line, which had been in construction for over twenty years, has now been nearly completed, and connects San José, the capital, with both oceans. Branch lines connect the towns north and south of the central line. A branch line toward Lake Nicaragua is also in process of construction. The total length of railway is about 350 miles. The telegraph lines of Costa Rica have over 900 miles of wire.
COMMERCE. In 1901 Costa Rica owned three small merchant steamers and two sailing vessels. The two main ports are visited regularly by eight lines of steamers-American, Chilean, and European. The exports for 1905 amounted to $8,138,000, of which coffee contributed $3,771,000; bananas, $3,641,500; rubber, $95,000; hides, $94,000; gold bars, $249,000; and woods, cocoa, silver, etc., the remainder. The imports for the same
year amounted to $5,239,000, and were distributed largely between the United States ($2,706,000), England ($941,000), Germany ($615,000), and France ($250,000). Both the imports and exports of Costa Rica show a steady upward tendency, and American imports are always in the lead. The chief ports are Punta Arenas on the Pacific, and Port Limón on the Atlantic, whose combined shipping amounted in 1904 to over 683,000 tons. The United States takes the greater part of the bananas, while England takes the greater portion of the coffee. In 1901 the import duties were increased 50 per cent., while the export duties on coffee and the import duties on machinery were abolished. Considering the area and population of the country, Costa Rica compares favorably in its economic condition with most of the central and South American countries. The comparative freedom from political disturbances and the favorable climatic conditions have attracted foreign capital and immigration, factors which have figured prominently in the development of the country.
GOVERNMENT. In its form of government, Costa Rica is a republic. It is governed under a constitution adopted in 1871; but this was not wholly in force until 1882. The executive power is vested in the President, elected indirectly for four years, assisted by a Cabinet of four members. The Congress consists only of a Chamber of Representatives, elected indirectly for four years at the rate of one representative to every 8000 inhabitants. For administrative purposes the Republic is divided into five provinces and two comarcas, administered by governors appointed by the President. Justice is administered by a supreme court, two courts of appeals, a court of cassation, and also provincial courts. Capital punishment is prohibited. To guard the public health, the country is divided into twenty-one districts, which are in charge of physicians paid by the Government. The Constitution provides for compulsory military service in time of war. On a peace footing the standing army has a maximum strength of 1000 men and the militia about 5000. The Government owns one gunboat and one torpedo-boat.
FINANCE. The revenue is obtained primarily from customs and excise. The revenue and expenditure for 1903-4 amounted to 6,408,000 colones. The budget for 1906-7 showed a revenue of 7,332,000 colones, and an expenditure of 7,331,000 colones (the colon equals 46.5 cents). The foreign debt of the Republic has been greatly augmented by the non-payment of interest, and the Government has repeatedly gone into default. By the terms of the latest arrangement with the creditors in 1897 the Government obtained a reduction of interest and agreed to pay up the debt at the rate of £10,000 ($50,000) per annum, beginning in 1917. In 1906 the foreign debt amounted to $11,690,925; the internal debt was $7,579,367. The metric system is legally established in the country, but Spanish weights and measures are generally used.
BANKS. The three banks of Costa Rica have a combined capital of about $3,665,000. In 1900 there were 3,000,000 paper pesos in circulation, exchangeable for gold. The metallic money of the country amounted 1902 to 5,000,000 colones, nine-tenths being gold, the rest being silver coin of the Republic. In 1900 a new coinage was put in circulation, based on an act passed in 1896,